Artist To Watch

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The premier guide for new and significant artists in rock, blues, and folk - including NPR-syndicated World Cafe

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World Cafe Archives

Join the World Cafe through performances and interviews with celebrated and emerging artists.
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Death Cab For Cutie: WXPN's August 2005 Artist To Watch

Death Cab For Cutie is comprised of band members Ben Gibbard (singer/guitarist), Nick Harmer (bassist), Jason McGerr (drummer), and Chris Walla (guitarist/organist). Their newest album, Plans, is scheduled for release on August 30.

Death Cab for Cutie has been making great records since 1997. To quote WXPN's Bruce Warren, "along with bands like The Shins, Bright Eyes and Arcade Fire are one of the best 'indie-rock' bands. The band really hit their musical stride on their last album, Transatlanticism that came out in the Fall of 2003. It was critically hailed as one of the best albums of the year. They're now poised for even wider acclaim and acceptance with the release of their new major-label debut album, Plans."

And, from WXPN's Dan Reed: "Lead vocalist Ben Gibbard sings like an angel, and the songs make really crafty use of jangly guitars and sinewy synthesizers. They are a cross between REM and New Order, but they're completely unique and engaging and sing songs about relationships that just draw you completely in.

Bellingham, WA, indie pop quartet Death Cab for Cutie began in 1997 as the solo project of singer/guitarist Ben Gibbard, who previously recorded under the name All-Time Quarterback. The underground success of the cassette You Can Play These Songs' Chords inspired Gibbard to recruit a full-time band including guitarist/organist Christopher Walla (who recorded the early DCFC sessions as well), bassist Nick Harmer, and drummer Nathan Good, and in the summer of 1998, Death Cab for Cutie issued their debut LP, Something About Airplanes, to much acclaim from indie circles. Just prior to completion of the 2000 follow-up We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes, Good left the group and was replaced by drummer Michael Schorr.

In fall 2000, the band released the Forbidden Love EP. A solid selection of new cuts were found on The Photo Album the next year.

In 2003, Eureka Farm's Jason McGerr joined the group and the band's stunning fourth album Transatlanticism appeared in October. While touring in support of that album in spring 2004, Death Cab For Cutie recorded seven brand new tracks. The John Byrd EP, which was named for the band's touring sound engineer John Byrd, was issued on Barsuk in March 2005.

- Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide


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